Design Makes Users More Forgiving

One of the benefits of good design is that it appears to have the effect of making users more forgiving of other problems with a product. I've come across a number of examples of this where customers accept a lower level of performance or reliability if the product's design was considered to be of a high quality. When customers fall in love with a product due to it's superior design, they tend to overlook other problems. An example of this that I've been experiencing has been the date and time settings on my iPod Touch. The problem occurs when I plug my iPod Touch into my computer and iTunes in order to sync it. If iTunes is already running, it causes the date and time on the Touch to get totally messed up. For example, I did a synch yesterday evening and the date was reset to Friday, June 27, 2008 and the time 4:41 a.m. This doesn't happen if iTunes isn't running when I plug the Touch into the computer. So, I can avoid the problem by making sure that iTunes isn't running (which it normally is on my computer) before I plug in the device. I put up with this problem largely because I really like using my Touch and figure that Apple will get around to fixing this sometime in the future. Every software update gets my hopes up that this problem will also be fixed but thus far those hopes have been dashed. I'm sure if I had that same type of problem with a product with a far inferior design, I would be much more upset. So, the lesson here is that design can have the effect of reducing calls to the help line and while you still need to fix problems with products but customers may be more patient in waiting for it.